Only full time Rugby League will cement Sheffield Eagles’ future

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Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston says it is vital that the club remain full-time outfit as he looks to develop a clutch of young talent.

Eagles are currently involved in discussions with potential new investors following the decision by chairman Ian Swire to step aside. The withdrawal of funds from a previous investor, plus Swire’s departure, have cast a shadow over several areas, including whether Eagles can remain a full-time operation.

With director Ian Anniss confirming that talks are at an advanced stage, Aston is adamant that the club have to do everything they can to stay full-time as he looks develop the youngsters. “We have started something here and we need to build on it,” Aston said. “We have to stay full-time. We have found it tough, the transition was always going to be difficult, but now we need to stick with the plan because we will see the benefits in a couple of years.”

With Eagles beating Featherstone on Friday, Aston’s side gave their chances of retaining Championship status a boost.

Whilst the full-time plan hasn’t worked out the way he would have liked, Aston has relished the opportunity to work with his squad on a daily basis.

With a batch of players in their teens and early 20s, Aston is confident that given the right direction his squad can only get better, but a big factor in their development would be remaining full-time. “When you look at the likes of Garry Lo, Ben Blackmore, Cory Aston, George Tyson, Matty Fozard, Dave Hewitt and Keal Carlile – there is plenty of potential there,” he added.

“We need to keep hold of these players and bring them on whilst adding a couple of quality people around them. I have been delighted with the response of the boys recently because they’ve taken a lot of hard stuff from me. There has been a lot of soul searching from some of these young lads, but the culture of the place is much better at the moment.”